Devon

Ex-Jackanory presenter John Earle admits sexual assaults

John Earle Image copyright Irving of Exeter
Image caption The Jackanory appearances marked the end of John Earle's broadcasting career

A former children's television presenter and Jackanory storyteller has admitted sexually assaulting a boy almost 60 years ago.

John Earle was a teacher at a school in Okehampton, Devon, when he carried out the assaults between 1957 and 1961.

Earle, 87, narrated two Jackanory stories in 1971.

He admitted six counts of indecently assaulting the same boy when he was aged nine to 13 between September 1957 and August 1961.

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Exeter Crown Court heard the school closed in the early 1960s and Earle went on to present a short lived children's programme called Treasure House between 1964 and 1965.

He became a familiar figure on television in the late 1960s as co presenter of the science show Tom-Tom from 1965 to 1970.

The Jackanory appearances marked the end of his broadcasting career, and he moved on to buy a farm on Dartmoor, which he converted into a moorland exploration centre with bunk rooms.

He became one of the leading experts on trekking on the moors.

The case was adjourned for sentencing at a later date.

Judge Mr Justice Dingemans told him: "All sentencing options, including immediate imprisonment, will be available to the court."

He ordered Earle to sign on the sex offenders' register immediately.

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